Can I put a tonneau cover on a leased truck? Yes. Here’s why

We recently heard from a pickup driver who wanted a tonneau cover from us but was afraid to get one because the customer’s vehicle is a leased truck. The customer feared adding any sort of accessories to the truck would violate the lease agreement.

I contacted two local experts on leasing pickups and other vehicles, and they both said people who lease trucks would be fine adding a tonneau cover like our ACCESS® Original Roll-Up Cover.

There are several reasons a driver might want to lease a pickup instead of buying one, according to James Morris, finance and lease manager at R.M. Stoudt, and Steve Jaskoviak, finance manager at Don Wilhelm, Inc., which are both dealerships here in Jamestown, North Dakota.

Morris said people and companies who lease pickups instead of purchasing them can get more truck for the money. This is because the monthly payment for leasing a particular vehicle is usually much less than the monthly loan payment for buying the same make and model.

Jaskoviak said that when you lease a truck, you also can trade it in every two or three years and then lease a brand-new pickup with new, upgraded technology.  It also means that if a pickup develops problems that make it less desirable as a long-term work truck or personal truck, a lessee can walk away from it at the end of the lease contract’s term.

When choosing accessories for a truck, it’s important to choose ones that can be completely uninstalled and don’t require permanently altering the vehicle.

“Alterations in suspension, engine will affect a leased vehicle,” Jaskoviak said. “Since the leasing company is the actual owner they do not let a lessee do dramatic alterations to the core of the vehicle.”

With the exception of some specialized applications, ACCESS® Roll-Up Covers do not require any permanent modification of a truck. They attach to a truck’s bed rails using TITE BITE™ clamps that attach to the bed without drilling and maintain a superior grip between the truck bed cover and the bed.

“I lease my truck now and have a tonneau,” Morris said. “I will probably put it on my next truck. It is a none-issue as I have leased a lot of trucks with tonneau covers.”

Make sure that you take all the correct steps if you’re installing a tonneau cover yourself. Take your time; a rushed install could lead to mistakes that damage the truck, your cover, or you (or all of the above). Here is a video that shows all the steps to installing an ACCESS® Brand Roll-Up Cover:

Here’s a review of our tonneau covers from one customer who leased his truck, Ken P. in British Columbia, Canada:

Just wanted to write a review about the quality and how well suited your tonneau cover it is for people needing quick access to the box. I have just ordered my third cover as I lease my trucks for 3 years. One Long box Ford, one short box Chevy and now a tiny box Toyota. At first I was skeptical that a Roll-up cover would stand up to our harsh Northern BC winter climate but I wanted something that I could easily get out of the way when throwing the sled or garbage cans in the back. The Access cover is fast, easy and always tight. After 3 years in our harsh weather they still look great. I have been very happy with the Access tonneau cover. 

But even if an accessory requires some sort of modification to the vehicle, or if you still feel anxious about an accessory for a lease truck, you always have the option of speaking with the leasing company and asking if a particular accessory would cause any problems for you down the line.

It will be the easiest if you do this while negotiating the terms of the lease. If you have the company’s blessing in writing, then you know for certain that an accessory won’t hurt you when the time comes to turn the lease pickup back in.

Also, if you choose to buy the leased truck after the term ends, you don’t have to worry about your accessories or modifications.

Lastly, you might want to look at accessories that could protect the truck from costly damage in the long term. One suggestion is our ACCESS™ Truck Bed Mat.

If you’re leasing your truck to carry materials that could scratch or dent the bed — like gravel or tools with sharp edges — you risk damaging your work truck’s bed and paying for the damage when you turn the truck in.

The ACCESS™ Truck Bed Mat is a thick carpet is made from 100% recycled soda and water bottles. It installs easily in a few minutes and adds durability to any bed, cushioning the force of dropped cargo and keeping materials from shifting around. If it gets dirty, just spray it off with a power washer.

If you do install this carpet on a lease truck, make certain you use the adhesive snaps included with the kit and not the drill-in snaps, which could affect your lease.

When it comes time to turn in the leased truck, use the flat end of a flathead screwdriver placed just under the edge of the snap and a small wood shim to pry against. The snap will pop off either taking the adhesive with it or leaving the adhesive on the truck. In the latter case, just use your thumb to roll it off.

Honoring service in Jamestown

Monday is Memorial Day, when we honor those who fought and died in service of this nation. We are located just up the road from some remarkable memorials to fallen service members, and we’d like to share about them.

Just down the road from us is Fort Seward, a historical site that was home to a U.S. Army post from 1872 to 1877. Today it features an interpretive center with artifacts from the fort and information about its history, and it also features the Veterans Memorial Wall.

Veterans Memorial Wall
Photo credit: Jamestown Tourism

The wall honors by name the Stutsman County residents who were killed in action during all of the wars in which the United States participated, and it lists all the North Dakota servicemembers who were prisoners of war or received the Medal of Honor.

Photo credit: Jamestown Tourism

The path around the Veterans Memorial Wall is paved with bricks bearing the names of American veterans. If you know a veteran you would like to honor, you can buy a brick and have it installed on this path. Call Fort Seward at 251-1875 for more information about dedicating a brick.

Photo credit: Jamestown tourism

Fort Seward also features this massive American flag, which can be seen from far across town and makes it easy to find the place. They don’t fly it during rough weather, though, so here’s a map.

Jamestown’s All Vets Club also has a work of art worth seeing.

Photo credit: Elmer Peterson

Artist Elmer Peterson made this sculpture on commission in 1974 and named it the “Bicentennial Monument.” The sculpture is bronze with parts chrome-plated and on a stainless-steel background.

This picture, though, doesn’t really do the sculpture justice. It’s 27 feet wide, and you need to see it in person to fully comprehend its scale. It’s located on the sidewalk, so finding it is easy enough.

You can learn more about interesting sites and sights in Jamestown through Jamestown Tourism.